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El Salvador: (Video) On the spot report on election day, March 9; FMLN wins

See "El Salvador: FMLN wins presidency; right wing trying to steal election" for more detail.

March 22, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the first round of El Salvador's 2014 presidential election the FMLN candidate Salvador Ceren had a clear win over the runner-up, Norman Quiroga of the right-wing ARENA party. However he fell just short of the 50%+ required to be declared president. With the smaller parties dropping out there was a run-off between Ceren and Quijano on Sunday, March 9. Here is video of the voting process and an interview by Warwick Fry with Juan Campos, who travelled from Australia as an official observer. The FMLN's Salvador Ceren was victorious, much to the great delight of tens of thousands of Salvadoreans (below).

(Updated March 14) El Salvador: FMLN wins presidency; right wing trying to steal election

FMLN presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

March 13, 2014 -- Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador -- Just after 1:30 am this morning, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced the final count from the Sunday, March 9 election, giving a decisive victory to the leftist FMLN party over right-wing ARENA (50.11% to 49.89%).

Over the past three days, ARENA has tried (almost) every trick in the book to prevent the FMLN’s Salvador Sánchez Cerén from being named president –- from calling on the armed forces to defend their false “victory” to initiating legal measures to annul the entire election.

Ultraconservative US allies of ARENA –- like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen –- are already backing ARENA’s attempted electoral sabotage.

Though the State Department has shown public support for the Tribunal, we need more voices in Congress weighing in on the side of democracy, reinforcing the State Department’s position and keeping ARENA politically isolated from international support.

With ARENA’s legal challenges to the election still pending, the next few days will be critical to ensuring that Sánchez Cerén can take his rightful place as the next president of El Salvador on June 1.

Venezuela: (Updated March 17) Asia-Pacific socialists pledge continuing solidarity with revolution

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org

March 11, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialists in Asia-Pacific pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

March 5 marked one year since the death of Venezuela's president and revolutionary Hugo Chavez. An outspoken fighter for the oppressed in Venezuela and Latin America, the loss of Chavez is still felt keenly by socialists and anti-imperialists globally.

But the Bolivarian revolution that Chavez led is a mass movement of millions of people that lives on in the barrios and workplaces in Venezuela. This process, led by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, is facing fresh attacks by right-wing forces backed by the United States.

The recent violent protests by a minority that has repeatedly been defeated at the ballot box has caused widespread destruction and terror. Along with at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, public buildings and government-run, pro-poor social missions have been attacked by opposition protesters, at the estimated cost of up to 10 million bolivars.

The international media has presented this fascist violence as a peaceful democracy struggle that has been repressed by a dictatorial Maduro government. This turns reality on its head.

Video: Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture

Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London (part 1).

March 10, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Britain on February 20, 2014, sponsored the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London. The speaker was internationally renowned Marxist author Tariq Ali. Parts 2-4 below.

Violenze in Venezuela: miti e fatti

venezuela-protests-feb_-24-2014

 

[English at https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56008]

di Federico Fuentes – 6 marzo 2014

Di seguito l’attivista della Rete di Solidarietà Australia-Venezuela, Federico Fuentes, offre risposte a domande comuni sui recenti avvenimenti in Venezuela. Ai fatti chiave è fatto riferimento in larga parte attingendo a canali mediatici che non possono essere identificati come filo-governativi.

I recenti disordini in Venezuela sono dovuti alla repressione governativa di proteste pacifiche?

Venezuela: A year after Chávez

The late Hugo Chavez with Nicolas Maduro (right).

By Martin Marinos

February 26, 2014 -- LeftEast -- Almost a year has passed since the death of Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013. Arguably this has been the most difficult one for the Bolivarian Revolution. Many people, both on the left and the right expressed doubt that there could be Chavismo without Chávez. Perhaps a year is still too short of a period to assess the situation after Chávez’s passing.

Yet, the dynamic developments over the past twelve months call for some preliminary remarks. Through an analysis of the key events during the year, this piece advances the argument that despite the ongoing violent protest in Venezuela, the left has emerged stronger out of the crisis precipitated by the death of Chávez. In addition, the new president Nicolás Maduro has reconnected with his base and has shown a unique style and vision that have earned him admiration from his supporters and contempt from the opposition.

Federico Fuentes replies to Mike Gonzalez's 'Is Venezuela burning?'

Right-wing protesters.

By Federico Fuentes

February 26, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I have had a few people ask me what I think of the recent article by Mike Gonzalez ("Is Venezuela burning"), regarding events in Venezuela.

Putting aside the fact he can't even get the name right of the oil minster (Rafael Ramirez, not Rodriguez), here are three things that are wrong with the article.

1) Gonzalez writes: “It is no secret that behind the façade of unity, there is a struggle for power between extremely wealthy and influential groups within government — a struggle that began to intensify in the months before Chavez’s death.”

If this was no secret, then surely there would be a mountain of evidence to prove this. But Mike Gonzalez offers none. A more serious analysis would indicate the opposite: that despite the narrow election victory by Nicolás Maduro in April 2013, the immediately wave of opposition violence and campaign around “fraud”, the ongoing economic war against the government, the municipal elections and the most recent events, there has been no visible signs of fractures in the government.

Eva Golinger: 'Don't be fooled by what most media outlets are telling you about protests in Venezuela'

February 22, 2014 -- The Real News -- Gregory Wilpert discusses the right-wing protests and their goal overthrowing the progressive gains of the Bolivarian Revolution.

For more on Venezuela, click HERE.

By Eva Golinger

February 21, 2014 -- Postcard from the Revolution via Venezuelanalysis.com -- For those of you unfamiliar with Venezuelan issues, don’t let the title of this article fool you. The revolution referred to is not what most media outlets are showing taking place today in Caracas, with protesters calling for the ouster of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. The revolution that is here to stay is the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was first elected president and has subsequently transformed the mega oil-producing country into a socially focused, progressive country with a grassroots government.

The demonstrations taking place over the past few days in Venezuela are attempts to undermine and destroy that transformation in order to return power to the hands of the elite who ruled previously for more than 40 years.

Venezuela: Coups, media and stalemates -- what the violent right-wing protests mean

Thousands of Chavistas marched through central Merida on February 12. Chants condemned the recent spate of right-wing violence and called for support for Nicolas Maduro. (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/Venezuelanalysis).

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Ewan Robertson and Tamara Pearson

February 14, 2014 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Venezuelanalysis.com’s staff writers offer their insights on the violent protests that have been occurring in the country: the opposition’s strategy, how the media have reacted and the implications of the protests for the Bolivarian Revolution.

No a la violencia y provocaciones de la extrema derecha en Venezuela!

¡Alto a la guerra de los medios en contra de la revolución bolivariana!

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3709. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Red de Solidaridad Australia-Venezuela

14 de Febrero, 2014 -- La Red de Solidaridad Australia-Venezuela condena los recientes actos de violencia instigados por sectores opositores de extrema derecha en varias ciudades de Venezuela.

Las primeras protestas lideradas por la oposición se iniciaron el 4 de febrero en la ciudad de San Cristóbal, en el estado occidental de Táchira. Dos estudiantes fueron detenidos por presunto quebrantamiento de la paz durante una manifestación. Los estudiantes fueron puestos en libertad al día siguiente.

Los próximos días estuvieron marcados por una escalada de protestas estudiantiles en los estados de Mérida y Táchira, con pequeños grupos de individuos enmascarados y encapuchados participando en actos de violencia en las ciudades capitales. Afirmaron que estaban luchando contra la “inseguridad”.

No to far-right violence and provocations in Venezuela!

Opposition protesters with slingshots during clashes on February 12. Photo by Angel de Jesús/AVN.

[For more detail, read Steve Ellner's "Venezuela: Right-wing provokes violence in time-worn practice". For more on Venezuela, click HERE.]

End the media war on the Bolivarian revolution!

Statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

February 14, 2014 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemns the recent violent actions instigated by far-right sections of the opposition in various cities across Venezuela.

The first opposition-led protests were initiated on February 4 in the city of San Cristóbal, in the western state of Tachira, when two students were arrested for alleged breach of the peace during a demonstration. The students were released the following day.

Venezuela: The political economy of inflation and investment strikes

Hugo Chavez addresses oil workers in 2007, pushing for more national control of the country's oil.

For more on Venezuela, click HERE.

By Oliver Levingston

February 10, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This paper adopts a Marxian class analysis to dispute the orthodox critique of high inflation in contemporary Venezuela. It draws a parallel between the 2002-03 oil industry lock-out and the capital strike in the Venezuelan foodstuffs industry today. In each case, capital has suspended production to bid up the price of basic goods and create widespread shortages.

Orthodox economists have cited worsening output and rising inflation in the aftermath of the capital strike to demand fiscal austerity and restrictive monetary policy.

Eyewitness El Salvador: 'An FMLN victory will empower us', say trade unionists

Salvadorans went to the polls on February 2. The union-backed party won the first round. The run-off is March 9. Photo by CISPES.

Click HERE for more on El Salvador.

By Emily B.R. Rodriguez

February 6, 2014 -- Labor Notes -- On a hot and breezeless day at the end of January, representatives from 83 unions across El Salvador gathered in the Casa Sindical (a shared union hall) in San Salvador to greet a delegation of international election observers. We had come to ensure that the presidential election would be free of fraud, violence and intimidation.

The images and names of their fallen comrades loomed on the walls behind them in black paint. Febe Elizabeth Velásquez. Juan Chacón. Ten unionists were martyred in a 1989 bombing by right-wing death squads, targeted because they were union leaders.

Visit revolutionary Venezuela: registrations open for 2014 AVSN solidarity brigade

Click HERE for more on the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network.

February 7, 2014 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Join this year’s Australian solidarity delegation to Venezuela, December 2-13, 2014. Registrations are now open for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 2014 solidarity tour to revolutionary Venezuela.

The tour -- to run from Tuesday, December 2 to Saturday, December 13 (inclusive) -- will be a unique an opportunity to observe first hand, learn about and be inspired by a grassroots movement that is transforming not only Venezuela, but Latin America, and is challenging the greed and destructiveness of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.

Since 1998, Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution has achieved remarkable things by putting control of the country’s politics and economy back into the hands of the poor majority. Despite the challenges created by the United States-backed opposition’s campaign to stall and destroy the revolution, this people-powered process of change continues to flourish.

El Salvador: FMLN wins first round of presidential election

Salvador Sanchez Ceren, candidate for the leftist FMLN party, gave a rousing speech on February 2 to announce victory in the first-round.

Click HERE for more on El Salvador.

February 3, 2014 -- CISPES -- With over 99% of polling places reporting, the candidate for the governing Farabundo Martí national Liberation Front (FMLN) party, Salvador Sanchez Cerén won handily the first round of El Salvador’s 2014 presidential election, earning nearly 49% of the vote. He holds a ten-point lead over Norman Quijano of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), who placed second with 39%. Former president Tony Saca (1999-2004) garnered just over 11% of the vote. The FMLN and ARENA will head to a run-off on March 9.

According to the CISPES electoral observation mission, which included delegates from the National Lawyers Guild and various US universities, the electoral proceedings were calm and peaceful.

Venezuela: A year since Hugo Chavez’s death -- special edition of the AVSN broadsheet

By the Embassy of Venezuela in Australia

February-March 2014 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialisr Renewal with permission -- Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez promoted a political doctrine of participatory democracy, socialism and Latin American and Caribbean cooperation. He was also a critic of neoliberalism, globalisation and United States foreign policy.

A career military officer, Chavez founded the left-wing Fifth Republic Movement after orchestrating a failed 1992 military rebellion against former President Carlos Andres Perez.

Chavez was elected president in 1998 with a campaign centred on promises of aiding Venezuela's poor majority, and was re-elected in 2000, 2006 and 2012.

Domestically, Chavez established nationwide Bolivarian Social Missions, whose goals are to combat disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty and other social ills.

Abroad, Chavez acted against the Washington Consensus by supporting alternative models of economic development and advocating cooperation among the world's poor nations, especially those in Latin America.

Witnessing a revolution: Report of Australian 2013 solidarity delegation to Venezuela

The AVSN brigadistas at the state-owned Diana Industries.

January 28, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Attached below is a report, plus photos, on the activities undertaken during the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network's (AVSN) brigade to Venezuela last month (December 2013).

A 2014 solidarity brigade will run from December 2-14, 2014. Further information and registration forms will be available on the AVSN website soon, at www.venezuelasolidarity.org.

For more information about the 2014 brigade, please contact info@venezuelasolidarity.org

In solidarity,
Lisa Macdonald
Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

Download the report HERE, or read on screen below.

Philippines: 'Forward, bayanihang sosyalismo!' Popularising a socialism 'with local colour'

The above video presents a summary of the activities of the Partido lakas ng Masa in 2012-2013.

Introduction by Reihana Mohideen

January 24, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following is the English-language translation of a document on bayanihan socialism that was presented at the convention of the Philippines socialist party Partido lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) in December.2013.

It is an attempt to project more strongly the socialist character of PLM and at the same time to popularise the ideas of socialism to a mass audience in the Philippines. Lessons were drawn from the Latin American experience, of linking the egalitarian principles of socialism with national and Indigenous historical experiences and traditions. It also flows from the understanding that it's no longer enough to struggle around specific issues, but that there is an urgent need to put forward an alternative vision or possibility, that is socialism, in a way that the masses can understand.

Another important question raised in the paper is the restructuring of the working class, towards contractualisation and the growth of the informal economy and the urban poor, which is an important area for ongoing discussion and assessment. 

Samuel Farber discusses Cuba’s future – but ignores the blockade

[See also Chris Slee's free pamphlet Cuba -- How the workers and peasants made the revolution and "System or siege? Samuel Farber misses the main cause of Cuba's problems", Slee's review of Farber's book Cuba since the revolution of 1959: a critical assessment.]

By Chris Slee

January 21, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Samuel Farber has recently written an article on “The Future of the Cuban Revolution”.[1] This article contains some useful information on “the emergence of new tendencies and debates” in Cuba. But Farber’s article is fundamentally flawed. It contains not a single word about the 55-year-long campaign by the United States government to overturn the Cuban revolution!

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